There are two varieties ofsantol fruit, previously considered two different species, the yellow variety and the red. The difference is in the color that the older leaves turn before falling. The red appears to be more common and the reddish leaves mixed with the green ones add to the distinction and attractiveness of the tree.
The fruits are often the size, shape and slightly fuzzy texture of peaches, with a reddish tinge. Both types have a skin that may be a thin peel to a thicker rind, according to the variety. It is often edible and in some cultivars may contain a milky juice.
The ripe fruits are harvested by climbing the tree and plucking by hand, alternatively a long stick with a forked end may be used to twist the fruits off.
The pulp is eaten raw and plain or with spices added. It is also cooked and candied or made into marmalade. Grated rind is cooked in coconut milk (with bits of pork and hot pepper) and served as a dish in Bicol, Philippines. Santol Fruit plants in kerala is also available now..